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The children of Sderot and those communities hit by the Gaza War have suffered tremendously, and continue to suffer. But this Purim, they recognized the all they have received from Makom BaLev, the OU Israel program that has provided a safe haven for them, and they gave to others in need.

Makom BaLev children were given funds to go with their counselors to purchase mishloach manot supplies in their local towns. After packing up the mishloach manot, they delivered the packages to the needy in their community. One of the children commented that some people have nowhere to go, at least we have Makom BaLev and our counselors.

“This kids were able to contribute to their local community both economically, through their purchases, and socially, by delivering Purim baskets to the needy,” explained Rabbi Avi Berman, Director of OU Israel. “The kids felt empowered. They were strong enough to help someone else. The constant fear they live with has stripped them of independence. Providing for someone else, gave a bit of that back.”

And this was only one aspect of the OU Israel’s Purim campaign. Purim parties abounded. IDF soldiers received mishloach manot. These 1600 mishloach manot were packed by hundreds of volunteers, everyone from eight to eighty converged on the Israel Center to help out. With those who packed, those who donated funds, the volunteers who accompanied the group to deliver the packages, thousands of people came together. The campaign, with the cooperation of the Orthodox Union and The Zionist Organization of America along with OU-Israel and ZOA-Israel, and supported by The Jerusalem Great Synagogue, Emunah Women, Beit Knesset Shir Chadash, and the American-Israeli Action Coalition, was a feat of unity.

This Purim We Built a Community.